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Oh Hollywood

The Naked Gun, Murder on the Orient Express Are Getting Remakes

It might be because my brain’s in Friday mode, but I’m having a tough time imagining two films that are more polar opposites than The Naked Gun and Murder on the Orient Express. One is a classic film veritably filled with cinematic legends bringing their Oscar-worthy talents to the table. And the other is based on an Agatha Christie novel. But today the two very different films have something in common: They’re being run through Hollywood’s remake machine.

Technically Paramount is rebooting The Naked Gun, not remaking it, but let’s not split hairs, hm? Taking over as Detective Frank Drebin will be Ed Helms, who’s a very funny guy, but… to me this is one of those roles that’s just wrong to recast. Arnold Schwarzenegger as the Terminator. Harrison Ford as Indiana Jones. The late Leslie Nielsen as Frank Drebin.

That said, the 21 Jump Street reboot surprised me by being absolutely hilarious, so who knows? Thomas Lennon and R. Ben Garant, two of the creators of Reno 911! are writing the screenplay. They’ve also written the Night at the Museum movies. I wonder who’s going to play the O.J. Simpson character. Dwayne Wade? He’s football*, right?

As for Murder on the Orient Express, that’s being remade by Ridley Scott, Simon Kinberg, and Mark Gordon for Fox. All three are producing; so far there’s no writer or director attached. It’s a powerhouse trio, and between them they have a ton of projects already in the works, including the Biblical epic Exodus and sequels to Prometheus and Blade Runner (Scott), the X-Men and Fantastic Four franchises (Kinberg), and The Chronicles of Narnia: The Silver Chair (Gordon).

I’m actually moderately excited about this one, because the original movie has a cast that is absolutely bonkers. Ingrid Bergman. Lauren Bacall. Albert Finney. Anthony Perkins. Sean ConneryJacqueline Bisset. John Gielgud. Richard York. Vanessa Redgrave. All in the same movie. I get a little frisson of joy just imagining what the modern equivalent would be. Get Helen Mirren to be the John Gielgud valet character (hey, it was the only interesting thing about the Arthur remake). Bribe Sean Connery out of retirement and he can play the same character he was before (a few decades older, but it’d work). Meryl Streep as Lauren Bacall’s outgoing socialite—there really is no other option. Tom Hardy and Gary Oldman can be there, too. Hell, have Tom Hardy play Hercule Poirot. It may seem a bit weird, but so does him playing Elton John, and that’s happening. I’m firmly convinced he could pull it off.

THR notes that the movie could take place in the present-day, since the Orient Express doesn’t run anymore. Or it could be a period piece. I’m wishing for the former, since I think it’d be interesting to see what happens when you take an Agatha Christie story and add cell phones and security cameras to the mix.

What do you think? Is there a chance you might see one/both of these movies?

*I Googled him and discovered that he is not football. What is sport?

(via: VarietyThe Hollywood Reporter)

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  • Lisa Liscoumb

    Not interested in The Naked Gun remake but IF they do Murder on the Orient Express right, I’d be there. I, too, would like to see it as a period piece with a stellar cast – I wonder if Angela Landsbury wold play The Princess Dragomirov? Personally I’d prefer to see Helen Mirren as the Lauren Bacall character and Judi Dench as the valet. :)

  • Anonymous

    Full disclosure: I’m a Christie nerd. I found the 1970s adaption nearly unwatchable *because* of the pantheon of actors they brought in to star. It was bizarre and distracted from the plot. But it they got Baz Luhrmann to direct…? He’s good with glitz and glamour, which is maybe what they’re after? I’m with tetisheri, though – David Suchet’s superlative performance as Poirot is my favorite. His version of Murder on the Orient Express was so, so good. The ending, as Poirot agonized over what to do was just brilliant acted and heart-wrenching. I doubt anyone will do better.

    Prove me wrong, Orient Express remake. Please?

  • Nigel Bradley

    David Suchet IS Poirot. No one else, in my mind, can come close to that role.

  • Anonymous

    I hate, hate, hate the Hollywood remake machine! I would like to throw Molotov cocktails into it! Really, has no one original ideas there anymore? I mean, it’s not as if Agatha Christie wrote only two books, didn’t she?

    I think famous screenwriter William Goldman was the one who once said: No one in Hollywood reads books! That’s probably right and the reason why we get only thinks that have been there before. Come on, average studio executive, try to be a little bit more imaginative.

    I for example would like to see that crime novel of Christie being filmed that plays long long before Christ and plays in ancient Egypt. Just an example.

  • TokenOfficeGoth

    NOOOOO WTF you can’t remake Naked Gun, that’s balls.

  • Anonymous

    I’m fine with them hopping back on the Orient Express but Naked Gun?! Without Leslie Nielsen?! Are they high? Nobody can be that absurd and silly while looking perfectly serious! That made the whole franchise!
    Or is it the kind of remake that crosses genres (like Starsky & Hutch and 21 Jump Street becoming silly SNL comedies?) and it’s going to be a drama now?